Burano island hoppingVenice Italy is a major travel destination for art, culture, and history. Venice is also a fabulous destination for travel with kids especially if you take advantage of visiting the many smaller islands that make up this one time maritime power. Island hopping in Venice is an engaging way to show children of all ages a unique perspective into a city that is so much more than the famous Piazza San Marco and Grand Canal.

vaporetto in veniceVenice was the last stop on our almost one month trip to Italy, so I was on the hunt for activities and sights that would be worthwhile and yet interesting to my almost eight year old daughter. The islands of Murano, Burano, Torcello, and even Lido offer many things to do, see, and best of all, they all involve an almost hour long boat ride which, if I am being honest, is a great way to entertain a child on a hot summer day. Our girls day spent visiting the islands of Burano and Torcello was probably our best day of Venetian sightseeing according to my almost eight year old daughter.

Visiting Burano

leaning tower of buranoBurano is situated a bit further out in the lagoon, and is home to the tradition of lace. Of more interest for the younger travelers in the family are its beautifully colored houses, one brighter than the next. Burano is also home to a campanile (or bell tower) that over the years has started to lean. It may not be the Leaning Tower of Pisa, but children will enjoy catching glimpses of the leaning campanile as they walk around the island.

Visiting Torcello

torcelloClose to Burano, the island of Torcello is thought to be where the largest population of residents first lived in the Venetian lagoon. It is now only home to two residents in addition to stunning Byzantine Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, and a popular ancient stone chair, known as Attila’s Throne. Another interesting sight in Torcello is the Devil’s Bridge, known as the Ponte del Diavolo.

Both Burano and Torcello can be seen easily and relatively quickly which make them perfect for the younger travelers whose attention span may not be ready for a full day of sightseeing. If you are looking to splurge for a delicious meal, like we decided to do, the Locanda Cipriani is one of three restaurants in Torcello. The Locanda Cipriani offers a stunning garden with tables under a pergola. Ordering a Bellini (and a virgin Bellini for the younger crowd) was decadent as was the house specialty Risotto and the Fritto Misto (mix of fried seafood).

Island hopping is the Venetian equivalent to day trips in most other places and is a perfect solution for families that want to take in the sights of Venice.

A presto…

Italian by birth, Elena tells the story of living-doing-and growing as a Cancer survivor, freelance writer, teacher, runner & triathlete from her perch in the DC suburbs at Ciao Mom.